I joined the Mobile Retail Summit (#mretailsummit) in central London on Wednesday 24th April, to gather insights on mobile commerce (m-commerce) from attendees including UK retailers and leisure companies, mobile technology and marketing specialists.
What struck me, as I listened to case studies of retailers moving very rapidly to deliver relevant experiences and offers for customers on their smartphones, was the lack of awareness of security on these phones. When one considers that 6.6M Britons made mobile purchases during January this year, with 42% using Android smartphones, that’s a large percentage of the country using their phone as a wallet. Combine this with the latest Norton research from the Norton Cybercrime Report that 46% of UK mobile users do not password protect their phone, and that’s a lot of wallets being left wide open!
Other intriguing insights came from the growing mobile retail trend of location-based marketing, where those who have opted in can receive special offers and services as they pass a nearby store. A shoe company named Meat Pack managed to divert 600 customers to their stores with a targeted time-based discount offer, delivered inside a shopping mall. The ability to create an on-the-fly campaign at any time means even factors such as the weather can also now be used to target customers with offers from porridge to DIY!
If companies want to encourage more people to use mobile commerce, and take advantage of these possibilities, we are all going to need to work hard to educate and reassure the public that mobile commerce is safe. Our latest Norton Cybercrime Report also showed that only 20% of UK consumers feel safe making purchases on their mobile devices.